World Grain News: Satake Centre wins research grant to predict wheat breakage for milling performance

by Teresa Acklin
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   MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — The Satake Centre for Grain Process Engineering, in collaboration with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, recently was awarded a grant of £281,000 (U.S.$450,000) over the next three years to develop predictions of wheat breakage based on single kernel characteristics.

   The grant was from the U.K.'s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

   Grant Campbell of the Satake Centre said the research “will allow prediction of the particle size distribution after first break milling, providing a basis for mill set up and control. Future research will extend the approach to predict breakage at subsequent milling stages.” Two major challenges facing the milling industry are to predict the milling performance of mixtures (grists) and to predict the performance of each year's new harvest, Dr. Campbell said.

   “To this end, cereals are tested using a variety of techniques,” he said. “The current trend in cereal testing is to measure distributions of single kernel parameters such as size, mass, moisture content and hardness. The challenge now is to interpret all this information in terms of predicting breakage during milling.” This research, when combined with sifting models also being developed at the center, will provide whole process models for use in the design, optimization, simulation and control of flour mills, Dr. Campbell said.

   A Satake STR-100 test roller mill will be used in the research. Work will start as soon as the post-doctoral research assistants have been appointed, Dr. Campbell said.